On November 14-18, 2022, the friars of the Provincial Custody of Our Lady of Coromoto in Venezuela conducted their first Pre-Chapter Assembly. The event took place at the San José de Cupertino Formation House in Palmira, Venezuela.
Those participating included the Assistant General for the Federación América Latina Conventuales [FALC], Friar Rogério PEREIRA XAVIER; the Minister Provincial of the Mother Province of St. Nicholas and St. Angelo in Italy (Puglia), Friar Flavio Daniele MAIORANO; the Provincial Custos, Friar Franklin A. DURÁN ZAMBRANO; and twenty-two friars of the Custody. Even the solemnly professed friars stationed abroad, due to studies or missionary work, made their presence felt by sending messages expressing their solidarity with the Custody.
On the first day, Monday, November 14, the Assistant General, Friar Rogério, gave a spiritual introduction, inviting the friars to live out the charism by embodying it in today’s Venezuela. Next, Friar Franklin explained the methodology of the Assembly. Then the Custodial Econom presented his report that morning and the Custos gave his report in the afternoon.
On Tuesday, November 15, the friars discussed the primacy of God and fraternal life. On Wednesday, November 16, they discussed the apostolic life of the friars and formation. On Thursday morning, November 17, they discussed the government of the Custody; and on Thursday afternoon, the topic was the fraternal administration of assets. On Friday morning, November 18, the Minister Provincial gave his report and on Friday afternoon, the friars discussed various topics and then a poll was taken for the election of the Provincial Custos for the next four-year term 2023-27. The Assembly concluded with summations by the Assistant General and the Minister Provincial and various announcements.
Each topic during Assembly was given a brief spiritual introduction, followed by a presentation of how the Custody stood in relation to the topic (from the information forms sent to the friaries and worked on by the friars). Then there was a discussion on the proposals that emerged from the forms and from the meeting with the Guardians. There was plenty of time for discussion in work groups and later in assembly, where a summary was drafted. The Assembly took place in a fraternal, joyful and prayerful spirit.
Also on the first day, the Assembly was visited by the Most Reverend Mario del Valle MORONTA RODRÍGUEZ, Bishop of San Cristóbal de Venezuela, and the Most Reverend Juan Alberto AYALA RAMÍREZ, Auxiliary Bishop of San Cristóbal de Venezuela. They celebrated Mass and ate dinner with the friars. During the Assembly, Friar Jesús Aléxer RAMÍREZ DURÁN gave the homily for each of the daily Masses, thus maintaining the style of a spiritual retreat.
On Thursday evening, the friars celebrated forty-four years of Conventual Franciscan presence in Venezuela. They thanked God for the first friars of the Province who sowed the charism on the Venezuelan soil.
The Assembly was a time for reflection, prayer, fraternity, dreaming together, evaluating the life of the friaries of the Custody and planning together for the future.
Friar Domicio Ramón MOLINA PEREZ